Basic cat care tips – Part 1

Cats are relatively independent creatures. They don’t necessarily demand your attention all the time, and can generally fend for themselves if they need to. But there are some very simple things owners can do to make sure that their beloved pets are happy and healthy.

Regular check-ups: Make sure your feline friend sees a vet at least once a year. It is important that they are up to date on all their shots. Furthermore, vets will recognize if your cat has anything they could have picked up outdoors (ticks, ear-mites) and may be able to prescribe treatment.

On that note, it is also important to tune in to changes in your pets health. If their eating habits change, if they start throwing up often, if they aren’t using the litter box, etc., these are all changes to be aware of and talk to a vet about if they persist. You can help keep your cat healthy at home by checking them regularly for ticks (if they are outdoor cats, making sure they eat well (not too many treats or table scraps), and letting them get exercise (either by letting them outside or by playing with them). If you do find a tick, make sure to remove it at the head, using a pair of tweezers works well. It is important to be vigilant about ticks. Deer ticks can be carriers of Lyme disease, which is dangerous to both your cat and yourself. Making sure your pet doesn’t bring any ticks into the house also helps keep you and your family safe.

If your cat is not declawed, it can also be helpful to clip their claws every few weeks. This ensures they will not get them stuck in the carpet, and if you have other cats in the house that tend to fight or your cat tends to knead or scratch, it is simply less painful.

It may also be a good idea to regularly brush your cats. This will help cut down on fur-balls and stop your house from being covered in (as much) fur, especially in the summer. Cats generally love this too, and it gives you a chance to check them for other things, making sure they have no cuts, injuries, or ticks while you are brushing them.

Diet is another very important area to be monitored. Make sure that your pet is getting the type of food they need. While it may be tempting, try not to feed them too many treats. Sometimes specialty treats that help keep your cat’s teeth clean can be a good idea. If your cat is overweight, you may want to look into diet cat food and closely monitor how much they get every day. Also, make sure your cats always have fresh water available.

Finally, clean the litter-box. Once or twice a week should be enough, more often depending on the number of cats you have. It may be unpleasant, but is extremely important for your cat’s health. Every time you clean it, add a new fresh layer of kitty litter. Besides being healthier for your pet, keeping the litter box clean is simply healthier for you and your family. This will keep odors and dangerous bacteria out.

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